Lemon juice can be used to lighten hair and brighten white laundry, so the natural bleaching properties can easily be utilized in textile dyeing. I like to use lemon juice to recreate a reverse print of objects with interesting shapes and edges.
This one was done on a cotton canvas dyed with pomegranate and an iron mordant – and as a warning, it does not seem to work on synthetic dyes and I am not sure how it works with other natural dyes and mordants.
How to create the prints:
Juice lemon and filter out pulp and seeds, pour in a spray bottle and dilute with a little water (not necessary if you want a stronger contrast)
Place flat leaves or objects onto dyed, dry fabric, spray fabric being careful around the edges of the leaves. – I always do this outside on a sunny day as I think the sun helps the lemon juice bleach.
Let sit until the desired depth of colour but watch carefully because the lemon juice works very quickly and if you only want a subtle outline, rinse it off right away.
*Spray from farther away to get a more even bleached colour, for this example I sprayed just around the leaves.
Wash fabric to remove all lemon juice.
This fabric was dyed again in the exhaust pomegranate and iron, because I let the lemon juice sit to long (oops -I was taking photos!) and wanted less of a contrast on the finished garment.
Have you tried or seen any other examples of lemon juice bleaching? Please comment below, I would love to seen them!